Chelsea 2 WBA 2

By Paul Lagan
Last updated : 13 January 2016

Oh, dear, Chelsea are back - they took the lead and were pegged back twice as WBA got a deserved point and possibly should have had all three as they were held 2-2 at home to WBA.
A Cesar Azpilicueta opener from the Blues' best passage of play in ghee game was cancelled out by a beauty by James McClean but the ball was gifted to him by Pedro.
An own goal in the second half gave the Londoners some respite but the Baggies would not be downed and got the second leveller from the boot James McClean.
Chelsea under Hiddink have won just one out of four league matches since replacing Jose Mourinho with two 2-2 draws at home.
Powerful looking WBA started brilliantly and caught Chelsea on the hop after three minutes but James Mcclean's right-wing cross inched past the head of Salomon Rondon.
The home side, perhaps with a shot-first mentality saw a Diego Costa and Willian long-range efforts creep pas Boaz Myhill's woodwork.
The visitors suffered the first injury of the night when, on seven minutes, James Morrison hobbled off with a suspect hamstring injury, to be replaced by Craig Gardner.
Darren Flectcher cruised through Chelsea's defence on 13 minutes and, after receiving the ball from the left, should have done better with his effort, that eventually went for a corner. Minutes later and Gareth McAuley out jumped Mikel at the far stick and headed goals and. Thankfully Thibaut Courtois got down low and deflected the ball away for another corner.
But it was the Blues who took the lead on 27 minutes and it was a brilliant breakaway goal that firstly saw Cesc Fabregas send Costa clear. The striker controlled the ball with his chest before laying it off to Willian. The midfielder took one touch to his right, to Branislav Ivanovic. The Serbia defender arrowed in the perfect cross and, at the far post, up popped Cesar Azpilicueta to tuck the ball home to notch up his first goal for the Blues at Stamford Bridge.
Costa could have made it two on 32 minutes but flashed the ball wide.
That miss was costly because a minute later on 32 minutes, the visitors equalised and it was all self-inflicted.
Perdro was harried by Fletcher into giving the ball, away in the middle of the park. Substitute Gardener picked it up, took two unfettered touches forward before letting fly with a beautiful daisy-cutter that Courtois could not stop.
Rondon almost put the Baggies into the lead when he rolled John Terry and unleashed a curler that inched wide of Courtois's goal.
There was one change of personnel at half-time, Kenedy replaced Pedro. But it WBA looked the more threatening early on.
But the bad blood between Costa and any WBA player, but lately Claudio Yacob seemed to be increasing by the minute.
WBA boss Tony Pulis replaced Yacob, who was already on a yellow card for striker Saido Berahino on 58 minutes.
Against the run of play, and with confidence seemingly shot, the Blues got a break with 18 minutes left on the clock. The ball was received on the right wing by Willian. He sent in a low cross and substitute Kenedy and defender Gareth McAuley went for it. Unfortunately for the visitors, the ball bounced off McAuley's left knee and into the net.
Guus Hiddink, in classic Jose Mourinho mode, took off ineffectual Fabregas for defence-minded Nemanja Matic.
But it was a poor decision as the Blues conceded the easiest of chances when James McClean struck a fine low drive from the edge of Chelsea's penalty area that inched into the bottom left hand corner of Courtois goal with four minutes on the clock.

 

 

Chelsea team:
Courtois, Ivanovic, Fabregas, Zouma, Oscar, Mikel, Pwddro, Costa, Willian, Terry, Azpiliceueta
Subs: Begovic, Ramires, Kenedy, Remy, Cahill, Loftus-Cheek

WBA: Myhill, Olsson, Yacob, Evan, Morrison, Brunt, McClean, McAuley, Flectcher, Dawson, Rondon
Subs: Foster, Chester, Gardner, Anichebe, Berahino, McManaman, Sessegnon

Referee Anthony Taylor

 

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